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post #31 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by WilliamR View Post
Didn't she also explain the reason for all the sex in that it was there way of bonding and coming back to the core of their relationship where the fighting didn't matter.
So, because the writers toss in a line of dialogue where she says, "Oh, I really really really like to... ahem... BOND with my husband. Like, at lot. Especially when he BONDS his mouth with my WHOO-HOOOO!!!," that makes the four or five sex scenes in the first half hour not gratuitous?

Interesting.

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Are you sure we watched the same show? I did not get that vibe or really see that much sex at all and what there was of it was important for the story.
You'll really have to explain to me how the sex was in any way important to the story. Do you believe this story would not have worked if those sex scenes were cut out? What about the sex was so critical to understanding that she touched a magic stone and went back in time? Would the magic stone time traveling not have worked unless she had lots of sex beforehand? That's one kinky magic stone.

OK, so you need to emphasize that she loves her husband and wants to come back to him. I get that. Is there no other way to get that across than for her to whip out her boobs?

Don't get me wrong, I like lookin' at boobies as much as the next heterosexual male. When an overtly trashy show like Black Sails throws oodles of naked flesh on screen for no particular narrative reason, I'm all for it.

It just felt completely out of place in this show, which if not for the nudity is otherwise safe to air on the Hallmark Channel.

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post #32 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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So, because the writers toss in a line of dialogue where she says, "Oh, I really really really like to... ahem... BOND with my husband. Like, at lot. Especially when he BONDS his mouth with my WHOO-HOOOO!!!," that makes the four or five sex scenes in the first half hour not gratuitous?
The very fact that you think there were "four or five sex scenes in the first half hour" (um, no) means you weren't really paying attention, let alone missing all the context that made the little sex there was make perfect sense within the plotline. And you apparently think you saw far more boobage that there was. In actuality, it was a second-long glimpse in one scene.

Again, this show clearly isn't for you. But 'Black Sails' is coming back next year, and like Rick & Ilsa, you'll always have 'Spartacus' if it's gratuitous friskiness you're after. You just won't find it here in this show.
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post #33 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 12:12 PM
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I guess we'll have to agree to disagree Josh.

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post #34 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 02:24 PM
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The very fact that you think there were "four or five sex scenes in the first half hour" (um, no) means you weren't really paying attention, let alone missing all the context that made the little sex there was make perfect sense within the plotline. And you apparently think you saw far more boobage that there was. In actuality, it was a second-long glimpse in one scene.
Are you really going to make me rewatch the episode to count the sex scenes? There are at least three in the first half hour, we see more than just her boobs, and in one of them the husband goes down on her.

Why is it important to the story of this show to watch the character receive cunnilingus? Please, explain that to me. How vital is it to our understanding of her psychological state to know that she enjoys having her rug munched?

Forgive the crassness, but that's the level this show is operating on.

Does the sex "make perfect sense within the plotline"? Inasmuch as the writer tossed in a line of dialogue to justify it, sure. That doesn't make it not gratuitous. I'm sure all the sex in those trashy romance novels with Fabio on the cover also make perfect sense within their plotlines. Because the writer wants an excuse to toss in lots of sex, she invents a rationale in the plotline for why the character needs to physically "connect" with a man. That's called WRITING. If she didn't want to put in a lot of sex, she'd write something different.

Again, you could cut out every last sex scene in this show and it would make absolutely no difference to the plot. That is the very definition of gratuitous.

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post #35 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Look, several of us have pointed out that you're missing the entire point of those scenes, that you have created something in your mind that's not there, that you've seen far more sex & nudity than there actually was (which is really strange), and I explained back in my first post on the subject what the point was of that scene you referenced (which had no nudity at all, nor any graphic representation of the act). She's about to experience an entirely different kind of "romance" with an entirely different class of men, and those two realities are intended to juxtapose.

You don't get it, you don't want to get it, and now you're being argumentative just for the heck of it. Look, I get that you don't like the show. Fine, watch something else. But stop trying to convince the others here that the show is something it's not. We know what we saw, even if you don't.
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post #36 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 04:19 PM
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I watched the first episode for my wife's benefit. She read the first book in the series and enjoyed it. She will probably force me to watch with her again, but it's not something I would choose to watch on my own.
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Are you really going to make me rewatch the episode to count the sex scenes?
You are not married to AVSForum. Nobody here is making you watch anything.


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There are at least three in the first half hour, we see more than just her boobs, and in one of them the husband goes down on her.
There were just three 20th century sexual encounters, the first of which was not depicted at all, just strongly implied by the innkeeper’s smile when she heard a slower and softer bedspring rhythm compared to when they were previously jumping on it like children.

In the second encounter, the only article of clothing removed was his hat, because she wasn’t wearing the article that would have needed to be removed. The only bare skin in that scene was a touch of thigh at the top of her hosiery.

The third encounter was the only one where there was any actual wardrobe malfunctioning, so to speak. The narration was, “Sex was our bridge back to one another. The one place where we always met. Whatever obstacles presented themselves during the day or night, we could seek out and find each other again in bed. As long as we had that, I had faith everything would work out.”


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if not for the nudity is otherwise safe to air on the Hallmark Channel.
But this is NOT the Hallmark Channel. Just as there are women in the world who are neither madonnas nor whores, so too, there are TV series that belong on neither the Hallmark Channel nor the Playboy Channel. Given that this is such a show, what exactly would you have put on the screen with that narration? A wide shot of the hotel and the mountain scenery?

The scenes were set in the 1940s, not made in the 1940s.

(Bear in mind, too, that this was possibly the last sex she will ever have with her husband. Hardly seems excessive or gratuitous to depict that.)


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Why is it important to the story of this show to watch the character receive cunnilingus? Please, explain that to me.
The point is to tell a 21st century audience that this 20th century woman was not a 19th century prude who thought sex was only for procreation or that the only way to have it was the missionary position. That’s important for setting up her behavior in the 18th century with 18th century men.

I suppose they could have had her make that point in the narration while we looked at beautiful mountain scenery, but again, this is a 21st century pay TV series so they showed cunnilingus. Very tastefully, I thought.

Or perhaps, tastily.
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post #37 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 05:05 PM
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OK, fine. We'll agree to disagree and leave it at that. I still think the sex was pointless and gratuitous. My wife, who read the book, agrees and said that it was silly and ridiculous there as well.

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post #38 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Considering the actual nudity, in terms of "that which shall not be shown on broadcast TV" was less than a half a minute of screen time, and the most "notorious" sex scene (in your mind) basically occurred in the viewers' imagination with no nudity whatsoever, yours and your wife's definition of "gratuitous" is considerably different than most. To each his own.

But you'd probably be better off avoiding this show in the future. Heaven knows how offended you'll be once the 18th century moors kick in.
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post #39 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 06:53 PM
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I'm no prude. I've watched GOT, Spartacus, and Rome and I felt the nude scene, as tasteful as it was, was just thrown in because it was on Starz and not SyFy. I was actually taken aback when it came on, but I didn't look away. I didn't think it fit the tone of the show. They could have portrayed the passion that the couple felt for each other without the nudity.
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post #40 of 203 Old 08-12-2014, 07:33 PM
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I'm no prude. I've watched GOT, Spartacus, and Rome and I felt the nude scene, as tasteful as it was, was just thrown in because it was on Starz and not SyFy. I was actually taken aback when it came on, but I didn't look away. I didn't think it fit the tone of the show. They could have portrayed the passion that the couple felt for each other without the nudity.
Well, you could portray that passion with a good Hallmark product also, but this is TV so we need to have the visuals.
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post #41 of 203 Old 08-13-2014, 05:15 AM
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So, because the writers toss in a line of dialogue where she says, "Oh, I really really really like to... ahem... BOND with my husband. Like, at lot. Especially when he BONDS his mouth with my WHOO-HOOOO!!!," that makes the four or five sex scenes in the first half hour not gratuitous?

Interesting.
You are proving our point. There were not four or five sex scenes in the first half hour. There were two and one was really tame. You must not of watched it or you really like to exaggerate or you just want to hate the show because your facts are not accurate.
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post #42 of 203 Old 08-13-2014, 08:03 AM
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Okay, besides all of the massive, lusty sex scenes that someone insists are in this first episode, I really did enjoy it and it now has a permanent place on my schedule.
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post #43 of 203 Old 08-14-2014, 11:55 AM
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My only point in bringing up the sex was that it's symptomatic of how silly and dumb the story is. This is just a trashy romance novel given glossy production values and a sci-fi twist. Plus, as I mentioned in my first post, even despite the sex, the entire first half of the episode was extremely boring. At least the second half seemed to be a little more playful and acknowledge how trashy the thing is supposed to be.

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post #44 of 203 Old 08-14-2014, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Well. You sure have the entire series all figured out after just one episode, doncha'? Fortunately for you Josh, you don't have to subject yourself to any more boring, dumb, and gratuitously lusty episodes. And since your wife agrees with you, she's probably out too. I see a win-win!

Meanwhile, the rest of us who do see the potential of a rollicking, well-written, action-packed historical costume drama can enjoy the rest of the season without having to explain every plot point to someone who paid such little attention to the show that he didn't even know how many sex scenes he was so terribly offended by, let alone why they were important. Proving once again that one man's trash is another's treasure.

Enjoy 'The Leftovers'! I hear that one's really deep.
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post #45 of 203 Old 08-14-2014, 07:48 PM
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Geez, Arch, it's just a difference of opinion. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. And judging by the first episode, this show is going to have lots of stroking.

I just don't see this well-written drama that you do. Sorry. Seemed pretty dopey to me.

I gave up on The Leftovers after the second episode.

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post #46 of 203 Old 08-14-2014, 08:39 PM
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I just don't see this well-written drama that you do. Sorry. Seemed pretty dopey to me.
Ummm... it was written well enough to leave you remembering sex and nudity that you didn't actually see.

Seriously, Josh, if you don't like the show, don't watch it, but you of all people are in no position to knock the writing.
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post #47 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I understand having differences of opinions on quality or sheer visceral enjoyment (or lack thereof) where a TV show or movie is concerned. That's fine - diff'runt strokes 'n all that. But to criticize a show because it's got a few sex scenes, done very tamely by today's premium cable standards, without attempting to understand the context and importance, is not being fair to the work in question.

I haven't read many (or any, to be honest) Harlequin Romances or other similar boilerplate literature, but I'm pretty sure this show ain't that. I didn't see any of the friskiness in the pilot episode as gratuitous at all. I saw it as an indication that these two people were deeply in love and had just come through a multi-year period of trauma few westerners today can even contemplate. Under those circumstances I'd be a little randy too!

I've read some reviews from professional critics I respect that were given the first 6 eps by Starz so I have a pretty good idea of what's coming. I've also read a lot of history of that place and era and it's not hard to see that this woman with 20th century perceptions of the nature of intimacy is going to be in for a rude shock. I don't expect a lot of sci-fi tropes in this show, but then Ron Moore really didn't delve into a lot of that in BSG either. At its heart, that was a show about relationships, the nature of power, and an examination of the human condition. I expect this show to be structured likewise. Past examples of his work indicate this show will be thoughtful, well-written, and a lot of fun.

There's a lot of bad TV out there. I thought 'The Leftovers' was just awful on every level, for example, and could go on all day about that based on the 3 episodes I watched before bailing. I've been disappointed by 'Extant', for which I had high hopes. 'The Strain' is fun. It's about what I expected, and I didn't expect Tolstoy. And 'Under the Dome' is fascinating from a sheer "how bad can it get?" train-wreck perspective. But this show, because of Moore's stellar pedigree and how long he's taken since BSG ended to get back to writing and hands-on producing, was the one I was most looking forward to. Based on the first episode, I'd say it was worth the wait.
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post #48 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 09:23 AM
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But to criticize a show because it's got a few sex scenes, done very tamely by today's premium cable standards, without attempting to understand the context and importance, is not being fair to the work in question.
Here's where we're just never going to see eye-to-eye. The context you keep talking about was artificially manufactured by the writer to provide an excuse for sex and nudity in the show - no doubt at the insistence of a network that mandates sex and nudity in all of its programming. If you were to remove the sex from the pilot episode entirely, it would make no difference at all to the plot. The "context" is a contrivance to justify the nudity.

Had the series been picked up by, say, Lifetime rather than Starz, it could be extremely easily tailored by the writer to the needs of the network by simply excising the sex. No other changes would be needed.

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I don't expect a lot of sci-fi tropes in this show, but then Ron Moore really didn't delve into a lot of that in BSG either. At its heart, that was a show about relationships, the nature of power, and an examination of the human condition. I expect this show to be structured likewise. Past examples of his work indicate this show will be thoughtful, well-written, and a lot of fun.

But this show, because of Moore's stellar pedigree and how long he's taken since BSG ended to get back to writing and hands-on producing, was the one I was most looking forward to. Based on the first episode, I'd say it was worth the wait.
A lot of major TV creators go on to produce lesser work after their signature series is finished. After BSG, Moore followed that with the Caprica spin-off, which was a shadow of the original. He currently also produces Helix on Syfy, which isn't particularly great.

Some writers (or creatives in general) really only have one "great" work in them. And when that's done, they spend the rest of their lives trying to live up to it.

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post #49 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 09:32 AM
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post #50 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's where we're just never going to see eye-to-eye. The context you keep talking about was artificially manufactured by the writer to provide an excuse for sex and nudity in the show - no doubt at the insistence of a network that mandates sex and nudity in all of its programming. If you were to remove the sex from the pilot episode entirely, it would make no difference at all to the plot. The "context" is a contrivance to justify the nudity.

Had the series been picked up by, say, Lifetime rather than Starz, it could be extremely easily tailored by the writer to the needs of the network by simply excising the sex. No other changes would be needed.
We're never going to agree on that. Without it, it's a different show, and maybe a show that's appropriate for the Lifetime channel. But that would have entailed other compromises and it likely wouldn't then have been a show I would have wanted to watch. The sex scenes, such as they were, were extremely chaste compared to most.

And I don't believe there was any network mandate for the inclusion of sex and nudity. Rather, these shows are all adult-oriented to some degree. One of the key activities in adult behavior is sex, to some degree or another, and it's a big component of much historical drama. I would rate this one as lower on the scale than most.



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A lot of major TV creators go on to produce lesser work after their signature series is finished. After BSG, Moore followed that with the Caprica spin-off, which was a shadow of the original. He currently also produces Helix on Syfy, which isn't particularly great.
I don't know how much daily creative involvement he had with either of them. I understand he was a producer, not a writer or showrunner, with Helix. Which is average, I admit, but I still like it.

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Some writers (or creatives in general) really only have one "great" work in them. And when that's done, they spend the rest of their lives trying to live up to it.
In this we agree. "One hit wonders". The creative world is lousy with 'em.
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post #51 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 12:57 PM
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The first half of the premiere episode was SUPER-BORING, and Claire's hubby has got to be the dullest man who ever lived. Things pick up when she jumps back to olden times, but the episode takes seemingly forever to get to that point. Claire herself also seems to be pretty dense with regard to how long it takes her to catch on that she's not in Kansas anymore.
My take was the opposite. I thought the first part of the episode was wonderfully written and acted, and was a fascinating depiction of two people getting re-acquainted after a brutal war. Then I felt it got a bit silly, with the interaction between Claire and the olden clan members unconvincing. I guess the whole time travel concept is a little hard for me to swallow, since it is - let's face it - impossible. But as readers and watchers we frequently have to suspend our disbelief, and as long as no new weirdness is introduced, I may continue to watch. I like Claire.
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post #52 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 02:44 PM
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We're never going to agree on that. Without it, it's a different show, and maybe a show that's appropriate for the Lifetime channel. But that would have entailed other compromises and it likely wouldn't then have been a show I would have wanted to watch. The sex scenes, such as they were, were extremely chaste compared to most.

And I don't believe there was any network mandate for the inclusion of sex and nudity. Rather, these shows are all adult-oriented to some degree. One of the key activities in adult behavior is sex, to some degree or another, and it's a big component of much historical drama. I would rate this one as lower on the scale than most.
I'll tell you what. Let's see how the next couple of episodes fare and then see where it stands. Wouldn't it be funny if I thought the show got a lot better and you thought it got a lot worse?

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post #53 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I think now that they're going to be full-time in the 18th century the tone of the show will be different from the bifurcated pilot where they were setting the table, introducing the characters, etc. Looking forward to tomorrow's ep!
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post #54 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 03:26 PM
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When an overtly trashy show like Black Sails throws oodles of naked flesh on screen for no particular narrative reason, I'm all for it.

It just felt completely out of place in this show, which if not for the nudity is otherwise safe to air on the Hallmark Channel.
Wow. I had exactly the opposite experience. One of the things I greatly disliked about Black Sails was the gratuitous and highly exploitative sex scenes. I'm just not into seeing a clearly bored prostitute give a guy a hand job just for the sake of being 'edgy'. When it crosses into the realm of rape for no reason other than to depict graphic sex, I'm out.

On the other hand, the sex scenes in Outlander seemed entirely appropriate in the context of the show. I assumed going in, that this was going to be a TV version of a "bodice ripper" romance novel. I fully expected some very suggestive and tasteful, but not overtly exploitative, sex scenes. The kind that would appeal to women viewers. It delivered exactly as expected. How you didn't expect that is a mystery to me.
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post #55 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 03:27 PM
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post #56 of 203 Old 08-15-2014, 10:07 PM
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My take was the opposite. I thought the first part of the episode was wonderfully written and acted, and was a fascinating depiction of two people getting re-acquainted after a brutal war. Then I felt it got a bit silly, with the interaction between Claire and the olden clan members unconvincing. I guess the whole time travel concept is a little hard for me to swallow, since it is - let's face it - impossible. But as readers and watchers we frequently have to suspend our disbelief, and as long as no new weirdness is introduced, I may continue to watch. I like Claire.
I think your take is spot on. The time traveling thing was hard to take. Its hard to fathom that the Scots wouldn't notice the style of clothes or jewelry or wristwatch or fashion or makeup. Though those are the usual markers for a dream sequence but I doubt that's the case here because the Scottish situation is apparently going to be a large part of this. I do trust Mr. Moore as BG was my favorite show for a while. The initial story was great with beautiful scenes and great characters. I'll ride this train.

Jerry. Just remember. Its not a lie . . . if you believe it. GC
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post #57 of 203 Old 08-17-2014, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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It's unfortunate that Claire wasn't wearing a wristwatch of some other trapping of modern society. She did get sent back with her clothing, so it wouldn't have been unusual. But then it may also have gotten her killed. It's relatively predictable that she would be viewed as a spy, or witch, and that much of her dramatic difficulties will arise from that.

The story is settling in now as I thought it would. She's a fish out of water, struggling to survive - a stranger in a strange land. Personally, I'd love to see some more sci-fi-ish stuff with regard to time travel, but I don't expect it's that kind of show. Of course, I haven't read the books so I don't know what's ultimately coming.

It's an 18th century historical drama, and it looks like they spared little expense with attention to detail and historical accuracy. With a bit of bodice ripping. And that's fine with me, having ripped a bodice or two in my time. (Velcro - it makes a wonderful tearing sound when role-playing. )
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post #58 of 203 Old 08-17-2014, 02:31 PM
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Good second episode. That dude's legs, WTF?

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post #59 of 203 Old 08-17-2014, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Good second episode. That dude's legs, WTF?
Since that disease is probably virtually unknown today, I'm guessing it must be CGI. Pretty amazing job, too. Shades of Forrest Gump!
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post #60 of 203 Old 08-17-2014, 03:42 PM
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I guess the whole time travel concept is a little hard for me to swallow, since it is - let's face it - impossible.
It is? Why? Because our incredibly limited understanding of physics says it's improbable? Considering our youth as a species, and the inherent ignorance that comes with it, I wouldn't make such definitive statements.

With Moore actually doing some writing for this series (as opposed to just producing others, which means he probably had next to nothing to do with them), I'll be sticking around for a while.
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